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Smithville Elementary School Announces Students, Teacher, and Staff Member of Month

October 8, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Smithville Elementary School has announced the Students of the Month for September. These students were selected for their outstanding character, academics, and other traits that make them an all-around excellent student. Selected as Students of the Month for September are:

Pre-K: Waymon Walker & Adlee Evans

Kindergarten: Arian Wiggins & Jordyn Cantrell

1st grade: Kylah Rogers & Andrea Kate Estes

2nd grade: Addison Curtis & Carson Strickland

Smithville Elementary has also announced its Teacher of the Month and Staff Member of the Month for September. The teacher of the month is Mrs. Leah Magness, who teaches 1st grade. The Staff Member of the Month is Mrs. Darlene Evans, who is a paraprofessional. These awards are sponsored by the PTO, and the recipients are voted on by the faculty and staff at Smithville Elementary.

Debris Burn Permits Required Beginning October 15

October 8, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture’s Division of Forestry is observing National Fire Prevention Week Oct. 4 – 10 by reminding citizens to follow simple safety practices to prevent wildfires and obtain a debris burn permit for leaf and brush piles. The official start of wildfire season in Tennessee is Oct. 15.

In DeKalb County to obtain a burn permit call (615) 597-4015 if you live west of the Caney Fork River or (931) 839-2328 if you are east of the Caney Fork River. In the City of Smithville call 615-215-3000.

“With the recent and forecasted rain, we expect favorable conditions for safe debris burning in the short term,” State Forester David Arnold said. “However, we shouldn’t let our guard down. We encourage Tennesseans to remain vigilant, practice safe debris burning, and get a permit to prevent wildfires.”

Debris Burn Permits for leaf and brush piles are available online at no charge. For larger, broadcast burning, such as forestry, agricultural, and land clearing, call your local Division of Forestry burn permit phone number Mon. through Fri., 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The online system for permits and phone numbers can be found at

Permits are issued only when conditions are conducive to safe burning. If you live inside city limits, there may be additional restrictions. Check with your municipality before you burn.

A list of materials that may not be burned can be found in the open burning guidelines from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation at

Burning without a permit, a Class C misdemeanor, is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine. Wildfires caused by arson are a class C felony punishable by three to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. Anyone with information about suspected arson activity should call the state Fire Marshal’s Arson Hotline at 1-800-762-3017. The hotline is answered 24 hours a day, and you may remain anonymous. Cash awards are offered for information leading to an arrest or conviction. To report illegal burning, call 1-888-891-TDEC.

Visit for additional tips to burn safely and to protect your community.

The Division of Forestry protects Tennessee’s forests by fighting wildfires, coordinating all hazard emergency response, providing prescribed fire guidance and contract services, as well as wildland fire training, in addition to promoting the wise use of forest resources by assisting landowners, providing quality seedlings, monitoring insects and diseases, improving urban forests, managing state forests, protecting water quality, and collecting forest inventory data. The Division also works to promote primary and secondary forest industries to stimulate the state’s economy. Visit for more information.

City to Schedule Public Hearing on Request to Rezone 42 Acre Site to Commercial Near Residential Neighborhood

October 8, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

A Smithville woman wants to build a cosmetology school with dreams of one day expanding the facility into something like a Motlow College learning center for persons hoping to enter the medical field.

Jada Cantrell addressed the Smithville Mayor and Aldermen with her idea Monday night and to ask that the 42 acres of property she owns near Wal-mart be rezoned from residential to commercial. The planning commission has already considered the request and made a favorable recommendation. But before taking action, Mayor Josh Miller and the aldermen want to hear from the public since this 42 acre site, which might one day all be used for commercial purposes, is located in the heart of a large residential area and could potentially affect home values.

The property is located off Broad Street beside and to the rear of Wal-mart extending to the O’Conner Street, Cooper Street, and Oak Glen Drive neighborhoods.

“I want to put a beauty school there on this property,” said Cantrell. I want to help our community bring in revenue. I know each one of you (mayor and aldermen) have children and grandchildren and I would like to see them have a job in the coming future. Its not all about a beauty (school). It’s also got to do with medical. The state of Tennessee has passed it that the cosmetology program can help them (students) get a nursing degree, doctor’s degree, medical assistant, and accepted when it comes to anything medical. I think it is wonderful that our state has passed it so that we can bring in more jobs for our state. I would like to help our community and the surrounding counties. I’m starting small but eventually it’s going to be like Motlow. I pray that you pass this (rezoning) for me to put this (property) in commercial,” said Cantrell.

Mayor Miller called for a public hearing to give residents who may have concerns to address the aldermen on this issue.

“There are a lot of residential homes that surround this. You have newer homes on Oak Glenn Drive in that subdivision. You have Cooper Street and its across the road from O’Conner Street and all this is residential. This is something I think you (aldermen) need to keep in mind. Could that do something to home values?” My recommendation first would be to have a public hearing,” said Mayor Miller.

The aldermen voted to table the request until a public hearing is held. The date and time of the hearing have not yet been set.

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